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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45306
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hello I am a general manager in a manufacturing facility.

Resolved Question:

Hello
I am a general manager in a manufacturing facility. My production director recently swore quite badly at me and caused me to write a letter of resignation to the managing director.
I retracted it one hour later as the production director apologised. The MD did not give me the letter back despite me asking for it. The following day the PD asked me into his office said he did not trust me and asked how I would feel if some people put in a letter about me. Funny enough 8 days later I was taken into the finance directors office and told there had been a letter of complaint against me from my direct reports. I have been informed that it is one letter which the PD had his secretary go around the factory asking managers to sign it. Some were outraged and did not sign, but some of the newer guys signed it.
I have been signed off since thursday am not eating, sleeping and am worried sick that I might loose my job over the complaint. The complaint seems to centre round my loyalty to him, which is quite strange as he only recently appraised me to the board of directors.
The other complaint is because the people who signed the letter said I recorded a meeting on my I phone without consent. The incident was a laughable mistake on my part when I taped my wife and daughter throwing obscenities at each other in the morning, but switched the phone on stand by thinking I put the recording off. Only when I got a message did I see my mistake and switched off and deleted immediately, I also apologised to two people at the meeting and asked them to let the others know as I did not think it serious.
I believe this is the PD getting his own back for me resigning on the back of his tirade.
The company is currently doing an investigation but I am a bit wary as the PD and MD are father and son.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What is your specific query about this situation please?

Customer:

What action do you recommend?

Customer:

Sorry I missed out the letter of resignation which I asked back became common knowledge on the factory floor as the PD leaked it. He then had the managers canvassed with a letter of complaint against me.

Customer:

Is this not libel?

Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for?

Customer:

31 years

Ben Jones :

Has formal disciplinary action been taken against you?

Customer:

No, I was advised the initial meeting was only investigative.

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

Customer:

thanks

Ben Jones :

At this stage there is no formal action being taken against you so do not assume the worst just yet. The employer should conduct a reasonable investigation into the allegations first before deciding on how to proceed. If the investigation gathers enough evidence to justify the taking disciplinary action that could be the next step. In that case the employee has the right to be informed in advance of the allegations against them and be given the opportunity to prepare for the hearing.


 


On the other hand, if the investigation does not find enough evidence to justify a disciplinary, the employer should terminate the suspension immediately and allow the employee to return to work as normal.


 


So it is a 50/50 and even if this proceeds to a disciplinary you have rights to defend yourself and appeal any outcome.


 


In terms of the potential for dismissal, from what you have said I do not see any reasons that would be considered fair grounds for dismissal, especially for an employee with over 30 years’ service and, I presume, a clean disciplinary record. They would have to show some rather serious misconduct on your part to be able to justify a dismissal as being fair. What you have done will not amount to gross misconduct and at worst should result in a warning, which you can also appeal.


 


So at this stage it may be best to see where the employer takes this – you have plenty of opportunities left to fight any formal action taken against you, as far as claiming unfair dismissal in the employment tribunal, should it come to that.

Customer:

thanks

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45306
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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